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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 9, 2006

Ehiogu on the brink of Middlesbrough exit

Ugo Ehiogu's career has come full circle with the expected completion of his move from Middlesbrough to West Brom in the next 24 hours.

It was the Baggies who first gave Hackney born Ehiogu his chance in professional football when he joined them as a 17-year-old in 1989.

Now 16 years later central defender Ehiogu is poised to return to The Hawthorns for what is likely to be the final move of his career.

The 33-year-old will also be reunited with Albion manager Bryan Robson who paid £8million to Aston Villa to acquire his services in October 2000 when in charge at Boro.

Ehiogu, who is out of contract in the summer, is understood to have agreed personal terms over the weekend with the Baggiesand now he just needs to tie up some loose ends at Boro before making the switch.

Robson said: 'We're so far down the line with big Ugo that there are only a few minor details to try and tie up.

'I was hoping to have him in on Monday but hopefully by tomorrow he'll be a West Brom player.

'He's a big strong defender who has vast experience of Premiership football. He is an out and out defender who will improve our squad.

'I think Ugo will be good for Curtis Davies and Neil Clement with the experience he has. He is also a good communicator on the pitch.'

Ehiogu made only two appearances during his initial tenure with West Brom before moving to Aston Villa in 1991 with Ron Atkinson paying a fee of just £40,000.

He spent nine seasons with Villa, winning the League Cup in 1996, before the switch to Teeside and he helped them to lift the same trophy and gain their first ever silverware in 2004.

Ehiogu has been dogged by injury problems in the past couple of years and is no longer regarded as a first choice defender by Boro manager Steve McClaren.

But his experience will still be invaluable to Albion.

Robson is also striving to sign a new striker and is being strongly linked with another Boro player in Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink.

West Brom urgently need extra fire-power particularly with the departure to the African Nations Cup of Nigerian international Kanu.

Nathan Ellington, a £3million summer capture from Wigan, has in recent games looked a shadow of the player who made a big impact in October and November after breaking into the side.

Meanwhile, as expected, Robson is bringing in Artmedia Bratislava midfielder Jan Kozak and Charleroi defender Badou for trials at The Hawthorns.

Robson wants to assess the merits of the duo before deciding whether to pursue his interest in them any further.

The Baggies chief has also given permission to defender Riccardo Scimeca and midfielder Andy Johnson to speak to other clubs, after slipping out of the first-team picture.

Robson said: 'Riccardo and Andy, being the age they are, need to be playing first-team football, and I am allowing them to speak to other clubs.'

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